Tourist tax or sustainable tourism tax is an amount that is charged by the Balearic Government on the tourists visiting Majorca. The tax is meant to be collected to ensure that the natural beauty of the place is maintained properly. The idea behind charging this tax is to ensure that tourism remains sustainable during the high tourism season as the number of tourists visiting the place has kept increasing continuously. Thus the ecological pressure from this ever-increasing tourist footfall has also been considerable. The tourist tax applies to all types of accommodations which include hotels, resorts, villas, hostels and even cruise ships.  

Agencies like Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) felt that this tax may discourage
tourists from visiting Majorca because it would increase the overall cost of the holiday.

The Balearic Government, however, clearly stated that the introduction of this tax was “Absolutely Necessary” owing to the importance of the environment and natural beauty of the islands which would be properly maintained through the collection of this tax. It is important to note that the Balearic Government is not the only or first one to introduce such sustainable tourism tax; Governments of countries like Germany, France and Italy have been imposing such taxes in many tourist places for a long time.

Now, talking about the amount of taxes payable for 2020; the tax rates for high season is as follows:-

4 Euros per day for guests staying in luxury hotels which are categorized under 5 star or 4 star superior hotels and resorts.

3 Euros per day for guests staying in mid-range accommodations in general 4 star and 3 star hotels

2 Euros per day for guests staying in cheaper hotels and cruises

It is very important here to mention that these taxes do not apply to anyone who is under the age of 16 years as they are exempted from paying the tourism tax. This exemption of tax for children who are below 16 years of age is very welcome news for many families as the children will not need to pay any tax and thus the overall cost of the holiday will reduce considerably. The collection of this tax happens when checking in to the hotel and this cannot be paid to the travel agent who is planning a tour; therefore, tourists must keep the tax in mind when calculating their expenses during the holiday.

The tourism tax is being used by the Balearic Government in the following ways:-

  • Protection and conservation of the environment and natural heritage of the islands as mentioned earlier.
  • Promoting sustainable tourism by encouraging people to visit in low season during autumn and winter months.
  • The tax fund is being used to preserve and renovate the cultural heritages like historical buildings situated in the islands.
  • The tax fund is also being used to train locals to create job opportunities in the tourism sector and higher employment opportunities outside the high season of tourism which is the summer season.
  • The fund is also being used for research towards corrective measures of the problems associated with climate change. 

The calculation of how much tax needs to be paid during a holiday is important for any tourist as this will help the person in creating a proper budget for the holiday. Certain important things need to be kept in mind while calculating the tax amount, which are as follows:- 

  • The tax is charged every day on per person basis
  • The tax depends on the category of accommodation
  • There is a reduction in the rate by half from the 9th day of a holiday
  • The tax is reduced to a quarter of the high season in the low season
  • Children under the age of 16 do not need to pay any tax
  • The tax must be paid while checking in to the accommodation

Based on these pointers one can easily calculate the amount of tax that is payable.

Below mentioned are a few sample calculations depending on changes in the above-mentioned pointers:-

  1. A single adult going for a holiday for 7 days and staying in a superior 5 star or superior 4 star accommodation; the tax payable will be 4 Euros per day for 7 days so a total of 28 Euros. 
  2. A single adult going for a holiday for 7 days and staying in a 3 star hotel; the tax payable will be 3 Euros per day for 7 days so a total of 21 Euros.
  3. A single adult going for a holiday for 7 days and staying on a cruise; the tax payable will be 2 Euros per day for 7 days so a total of 14 Euros.
  4. A single adult going for a holiday for 14 days and staying in a superior 5 star or superior 4 star accommodation; the tax payable will be 4 Euros per day for the first 8 days and then 2 Euros per day for the next 6 days so a total of 44 Euros.
  5. A single adult going for a holiday for 21 days and staying in a superior 5 star or superior 4 star accommodation; the tax payable will be 4 Euros per day for the first 8 days and then 2 Euros per day for the next 13 days so a total of 58 Euros.

So the tax can be easily calculated depending on the changes in the various applicable factors like which type of accommodation is being chosen, the number of children below the age of 16 in the group, the number of days being spent during the holiday and whether the holiday is scheduled in high season or low season.

There is no way that a tourist can completely avoid paying the tax unless the tourist is a child below 16 years of age, however, the tourist can plan the holiday in the low season with the accommodation in a modest hotel or cruise to minimize the payable tax. 

 

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